SM Krishna to visit Pakistan in September



Islamabad: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will undertake a three-day visit to Pakistan from September 7 to review the second round of the bilateral dialogue process with his counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar.

Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal met Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Monday and informed him about the dates for Krishna's visit, diplomatic sources said.

The dates for the visit were earlier suggested by the Foreign Office.

The Indian envoy and Jilani also discussed bilateral issues, including preparations for Krishna's visit.

Krishna will review the dialogue process, which resumed last year after a gap of over two years in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, during a meeting with Khar on September 8, the sources said.

Following the review, Krishna and Khar are expected to prepare the framework for the third round of the resumed dialogue.

During his stay in Islamabad, Krishna is expected to call on President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and some key political leaders, including PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and PML-Q lader Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain.

Following the resumption of the dialogue process, India and Pakistan have made significant progress in normalising trade relations.

Islamabad recently switched to a negative list regime for trade with Delhi, paving the way for giving India Most Favoured Nation-status by the beginning of next year.

PTI